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The FISA-FOCA war and other motor racing 'handbag duels'


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#1 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 13:43

Given that there seems to be yet another Large Moment of Unpleasantness in a corner of the contemporary motor racing world, when one begins to take a look back there is the feeling that there was always something brewing. After all, it difficult to overlook the gaps in the lineage of the GP de l'ACF without having the reasons for those gaps spring to mind. Much the same for all the various behind the scenes bickering that took place in the Post-WW2 world, with the various Agreements and Meetings being held with increasing frequecy with the advent of the Sixties. Think of the schism in France in the late Sixties. Think of the NASCAR meltdowns that marred the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The USAC-CART split. The AAA abruptly departing the scene in 1955. The great schims between the Amateurs and the Professionals in the American sports car racing world. And, of course, the FIASCO War, which like The Great War seems to still be creating new wars years later. These are, of course, only a small sampling of the totality of such conflicts.

I realize that most here share the Jenkinsonian revulsion with all matters political within the motor sports realm, but it seems to be a bit revisionist to continue to ignore these various schisms, civil wars, power struggles, personality conflicts, and struggles as we usually do. I admit to being fascinated to no end, despite myself, with the current war that is brewing with the formula one community. It contains many of the same characters and players from the FIASCO War, but in smewhat different roles. The basis of the war, however, seems to not have changed very much -- money.

I think that it may be some long while before we read a good account of the CART saga. This is unfortunate since it is an interesting story and needs to be told. As with all such stories, probably not a pretty one, but one that needs to be told. Funny, but I am still waiting for someone to tackle the FIASCO War.

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#2 RStock

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 16:45

Given that there seems to be yet another Large Moment of Unpleasantness in a corner of the contemporary motor racing world, when one begins to take a look back there is the feeling that there was always something brewing. After all, it difficult to overlook the gaps in the lineage of the GP de l'ACF without having the reasons for those gaps spring to mind. Much the same for all the various behind the scenes bickering that took place in the Post-WW2 world, with the various Agreements and Meetings being held with increasing frequecy with the advent of the Sixties. Think of the schism in France in the late Sixties. Think of the NASCAR meltdowns that marred the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The USAC-CART split. The AAA abruptly departing the scene in 1955. The great schims between the Amateurs and the Professionals in the American sports car racing world. And, of course, the FIASCO War, which like The Great War seems to still be creating new wars years later. These are, of course, only a small sampling of the totality of such conflicts.

I realize that most here share the Jenkinsonian revulsion with all matters political within the motor sports realm, but it seems to be a bit revisionist to continue to ignore these various schisms, civil wars, power struggles, personality conflicts, and struggles as we usually do. I admit to being fascinated to no end, despite myself, with the current war that is brewing with the formula one community. It contains many of the same characters and players from the FIASCO War, but in smewhat different roles. The basis of the war, however, seems to not have changed very much -- money.

I think that it may be some long while before we read a good account of the CART saga. This is unfortunate since it is an interesting story and needs to be told. As with all such stories, probably not a pretty one, but one that needs to be told. Funny, but I am still waiting for someone to tackle the FIASCO War.


Good post , Mr. Capps . I was wondering if someone here was going to broach this subject , particularly the current mess . I had thought about starting a thread on it , as I feel it would be interesting to hear from the many folk here just what their opinion is , who they think is right or wrong , and what should be the way forward .

First off , I don't like the current ways anymore than most who's similar opinions I've seen . I detest the Tilke tracks and the looks of modern day cars , along with the general high stakes poker game F1 has become .

But , that being said , I do still enjoy the sport . For all the BS one has to tolerate , F1 still has it's moments . And I don't think that Max and Bernie are inherintly bad . Misguided and heavy handed at times . But they have kept things going reasonably well . They all make a lot of money now , and money is the root cause of most problems .

But as you have suggested , this is a constant . This ever changing , ever evolving aspect of the sport which involes rules , power struggles and not to forget , again money . This could be a major struggle we have now , with Max wanting to make it much cheaper and easier to field a team , and the manufacturers balking at the "two-tier system" . I can't blame the manufacturer's for that , and Max has already pretty much dumped that idea . But he seems bound and determined to get them under the cap .

I can see Max's point on the cap . It has become too much of a pissing match , as far as who can outspend the other , moreso than who can build the better mousetrap . The sport is going to naturally be expensive , there's only so much they can do there without F1 becoming a "spec series" , which I think no one wants .

I hope the members here join in on what you have started with this thread . I'm looking forward to seeing the opinions of those who have "been there , done that" . And not just concerning the current mess , but the "FIASCO" , USAC/CART and even NASCAR power struggles from years past .


#3 RA Historian

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 22:24

I think that it may be some long while before we read a good account of the CART saga. This is unfortunate since it is an interesting story and needs to be told.

I suspect that Buford could take a whack at it :wave:
Tom